LOS ANGELES -- After announcing 90 minutes before tipoff that top freshman Shabazz Muhammad would not be eligible for competition, the UCLA Bruins christened a newly-renovated Pauley Pavilion with an 86-59 victory over the Indiana State Sycamores in a season opener for both teams Friday night.
A quick breakdown of the game follows:
How it happened
UCLA waited through a hoopla-filled, 14-minute pregame show that included appearances by former UCLA players and a national anthem performed on an electric bass by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, then got off to a sluggish start. The Bruins made only one of their first eight field goal attempts and committed nine first-half turnovers, but they slowly pulled away late in the first half.
The Bruins took their first lead at 15-14 with 8:43 to play in the half and extended it to 10 points before going into halftime, with a 36-27 halftime lead. UCLA started the second half with a 10-3 run and Indiana State didn't seriously threaten after that.
With Muhammad out, a couple of other UCLA freshman helped pick up the slack. Jordan Adams had a game-high 21 points, along with eight rebounds, and Kyle Anderson had a well-rounded nine points, seven rebounds and five assists. Travis Wear added 17 points and six rebounds for the Bruins, while David Wear had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Player of the game: Adams
He was the least-heralded freshman in UCLA's top-ranked recruiting class but the most dominant in the season opener, scoring from all over the floor and crashing the boards on the defensive end. Rebounding was not expected to be one of Adams' strong suits, so his total was a nice bonus for UCLA.
Stat of the game
The first points scored in the new Pauley Pavilion came on a three-pointer by Indiana State's Justin Gant at the 17:11 mark of the first half. It wasn't quite as dramatic as the last points scored in the old Pauley, when Tyler Trapani, great-grandson of John Wooden, made a layup in the final game before Pauley was shut down for a 20-month, $136 million makeover. Travis Wear made a jump shot at the 16:56 mark for UCLA's first points.
What it means
The Bruins won their season opener against a mid-major, something they could not do last year when they lost to Loyola Marymount at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. With so many new faces in key places, a little rust was bound to show up. But the Bruins shook it off in time to avoid what would have been a major disappointment if they lost the first game in their refurbished building.
UCLA will face UC Irvine on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion. Indiana State will play Winthrop in Terre Haute on the same day.